True Blues Luke Lewis and Beau Scott don’t get much time to catch up these days but they will always share a bond that can never be broken.
Both Lewis and Scott, who joined Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler this week for his Hogs Tour around regional NSW, were part of the victorious NSW team which ended Queensland’s stranglehold on the State of Origin Shield in 2014.
The Maroons had won eight straight series heading into that year and were confident of extending their winning streak but hadn’t counted on the resilience of the Blues. Scott and Lewis, who both retired in 2018 after decorated careers, featured in all three games.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Beau and it’s great to be out here spending some time with him," Lewis said. "The good thing is we don’t talk every day but when we do talk it’s like picking up where we left off.
“We’ve toured together, we’ve played Origin together, we’ve won the State of Origin series in 2014 together which was amazing."
The first match in Brisbane saw the Blues unveil a new halves pairing in Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds and the former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs combined to help steer the side to a hard-fought 12-8 win. It was the Blues first win at Suncorp Stadium since 2009.
The second match in Sydney was an even tighter tussle which was only decided after Hodkinson threw a dummy in the final 10 minutes to score the only try of the match. He then converted from out wide to set up a 6-4 win and hand the Blues their first series win in eight years.
“That was one to remember,” Scott said. “It was a really enjoyable bunch of guys to be around for three games and it’s definitely the series that I’ll remember the most for breaking that stronghold they had on the Origin for so long.
“We had a really capable bunch of guys and we had a mission to get the job done. We achieved that and it was a good year.”
Lewis added: “The best thing I remember about 2014 is that we got written off again that we were going to lose, we came out and won game two and I remember the celebrations afterwards.
“It was awesome knowing we came up against the greatest Queensland team ever and beat them.”
Both Lewis and Scott said they were enjoying the experience of riding on the Hogs tour, which has seen Fittler ride more than 5000km covered in 10 days, visit 24 regional towns and 13 schools, host six free football clinics and hand out 2400 footballs.
Scott and Lewis joined Fittler for the start of Week Two which has taken in south and south-west of NSW with towns visited including Batemans Bay, Cooma and Albury.
“It’s been awesome getting to ride with Freddy, Beauy and all the boys,” Lewis said.
“To get out and do what Freddy is doing and watch what he’s doing spreading the word about mental fitness is amazing.
“He’s real passionate about the game as well, giving out the balls and creating awareness of rugby league out here is unbelievable.
“I’m so glad to be part of it to be honest.”